New York Times, Oct. 5, 1969 “The six tracks on the first side and the opening two tracks on the flip are all write-offs: there’s a Ringo Starr nursery rhyme; a quick burst of sub-Brian Wilson; two songs by George Harrison, mediocrity incarnate; yet another slice of Paul McCartney twenties nostalgia, and an endless slow blues. “The badness ranges from mere gentle tedium to cringing … Continue reading Nik Cohn on an “unmitigated disaster” by the Fab Four
“Because it was endearing when I wanted to consume my boyfriend’s record collection at 15 and liked being quizzed on singles and trivia — but when I later covered music for years for the alt-weekly in Nashville at 28 as the local rock scene there simmered up, I got an unending stream of shit for daring to write like I thought I had something to … Continue reading Regarding Her Husband’s Stupid Record Collection
Well, sort of. Rolling Stone’s 500 Worst Reviews of All Time, a “work in progress” by someone named “schmidtt,” showed up recently on my Facebook feed, and though I instantly assumed it was something I wanted nothing to do with — and it is still something I will not likely ever find time to read in its entirety — it’s not an entirely unenjoyable ride. … Continue reading Just Another Rolling Stone Top 500 List?
At his excellent blog, Can’t Explain, Jeff Pike assembles a small road crew to re-evaluate Neil Young’s 1979 Pazz & Jop-winning LP, Rust Never Sleeps. Jeff, Phil Dellio, Steven Rubio, Jack Thompson, and yours truly all pipe in, with reactions which, while positive overall, are surprisingly varied. The one perhaps not-so-surprising common denominator, mentioned at least once by everyone, is punk. (My original impulse, in … Continue reading Rust, Still Awake
“ABC were striking out where a lot of other pop (but not all of it) was too timid to follow. “I emphasise that ‘but not all of it’ because by early 1982 it was palpably evident that a great deal of pop was striking out. Records like ‘Party Fears Two’ and ‘Ghosts’ were redefining what could be achieved with pop music on a near-weekly basis. … Continue reading Lexicon of Pop
Music isn’t a science — it breathes and moves, it adjusts to its surroundings. We know that everyone wants to figure this out as quickly as possible, but that’s not the way to take in music, and an album release like this one just shows more clearly than ever how unhealthy the state of music really is. We are literally trying to review albums — … Continue reading Daft
Sometime on Friday 30 April 1982, in an apartment somewhere in New York City, Lester Bangs dies. He is found lying on the floor. He is approximately thirty-three-and-a-third years old. He had been suffering from the ‘flu and had been taking Darvon and NyQuil. It was suggested that his immune system was shot due to an over-zealous cleaning-up of his own body following a lifetime … Continue reading Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, Good Times